Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Leftover Christmas Ideas

I know, it's too late this year. But it seems like every year I find a great pattern for something just after the holiday is over (I did that with the Easter Peeps, remember?!) But I can plan ahead for next year, yes?!

Here's an owl ornament tutorial--these are very cute. I may have to make a couple of these for the tree next year....It would be really cute to up-size this and make some throw pillows for a bed in the same manner!

This is one of the best scarves I've ever seen. What a cute thing, I love it totally! Must see if I can reproduce that myself =D (I really love that Anthropologie inspires so many knock-offs!)

Love this pattern for a fabric basket. I'd like to make something like that in the future, when I have more time!

Here is a recipe for easy and yummy sounding eggnog--though it should be mentioned it has raw eggs in it. I think there's a way around this, you can very slowly soft-cook the eggs in a double boiler or something to eliminate the possibility of food poisoning. I'd have to google that....

Look at the cutest felted bunny you ever saw! I like this blog....

I'm loving this great vintage humor stuff. Really want these christmas cards ;0) Check it out....

I also found an interesting idea/recipe/method for brining your Thanksgiving turkey prior to roasting. I know that is what restaurants do with their fried chicken prior to cooking it, but home-brining a turkey hadn't occurred to me. I may have to try that next year (we'd need a big big fridge).

Anyone interested in origami? This website is cool: it has some printable downloads for rhombicuboctahedral world globes you can fold....

Well, that was more random than not. And though I actually published it on New Year's Day, I kept the date the post was started as my publishing date. I just want to start off 2009 with a clean slate!

Happy happy!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Just Another Poo-flingin' Day in the Jungle


Yep, that's what my job seems like, lately. It wouldn't be so bad if my boss wasn't always a pisser. Because, I really love what I do for a living. But, for the past 2 months he has been grouchy, fault-finding, snippy, and difficult. He did this last year about this time--maybe he has SAD?! I can deal with it as long as he doesn't cross the line like last year.

I'm so relieved that Christmas is over. The gift-giving craziness is behind me for another year. And, I am so done with this climate. I am imagining christmases in hawaii in the near future, with nice weather, rains, ocean, and family visiting....if only I can afford a big enough home there for visitors to stay!

The title of this post came from t-shirts I purchased here for Christmas presents! Heh.

Look at this cute hat on the winter issue of Knitty:
Soo clever. I love it.

And I definitely want to try making a pair of cabled socks in this Celtic looking pattern published in the same issue of Knitty! And reversible lovely cables in a scarf! And look at the cute Musk-Ox Slippers....I love Knitty. Such a great resource! (One more--love this.)

Check out this poncho/capelette, called Undertow. How beautiful is that?! I love it

Onward into 2009, with new knitting goals =D

Saturday, December 27, 2008

New fibers

Seagulls on New Buffalo Beach in October.

New fibers are going to arrive for my spinning pleasure soon. I visited Shell's Etsy Shop and bought 2 colors of hand-dyed BFL to spin. That is going to yield some marvelous socks I'm thinking =)

I went to the bookstore today and stocked up on knitting mags. I am really excited about a couple of them; one I ended up not purchasing was the current issue of Verena. I didn't see one pattern in there that interested me.

I also bought the second book in the "Twilight" series. Where has this great series been all my life?! I must be living under a rock, since I just now heard of this from a coworker. I loved the first book, and for a Christmas gift, DH will be taking me to see the movie and then going out to eat. Maybe tomorrow!

This book has actually reinvigorated my desire to write fiction. I mean, if someone can take something like vampires, and write them into a love story fraught with danger, and make it enjoyable and engrossing and somehow believable...well, it's just inspiring to me. After years of non-fiction reading as part of my job and training, it feels great to return to fiction!

It may be a few days before I post again, though there is one post scheduled for Monday. Happy New Year everybody.

Friday, December 26, 2008

WOW fun links

Cool, look at this website about lighted Christmas balls! There are instructions there for all different types of balls, some made with cups, some with chicken wire...I have a neighbor who hangs another couple lighted cup-balls every year in his trees, and it is just glorious! I have thought about making some myself, but haven't had time to look for the instructions. (Hot dog, now I have them linked on my blog!)

Look at this cute Polar Bear in crochet...free pattern if anyone is interested. I love the blog this came from, full of really inspiring tatting projects (I haven't tatted in a couple of years...)

Ooooooh, squeal! Look at the cute free Seahorse tatted motif! There are a lot of tatted patterns for free where that came from....I never knew this =)

Sigh, wish I had time for all this! Here's a tatted parrot motif, very colorful and pretty!

More free tatting patterns here. Really fun ocean motifs, I'm going to remember these for the future.

There's a tatted dragon motif too! This rocks!

On a different note, this blog is by a very talented decorator/painter lady who is very inspiring! I'm blown away by her attention to detail....

And this blog shows photos of the above mentioned lady's cottage, with painted stair risers, and beautiful rooms everywhere!

A fun and crafty blog I just found...check out this cute idea she had.

Look at this beachy blog (sorry, I had to post this, I'm surrounded by gray fog, gray skies, gray melting snow and bitter gray cold lately)

Happy Weekend to you all =)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Free at last, free at last....!

I am freeeeeeeee! Sooooo excited to be FINISHED with the 100 mile long blanket! The Moderne Log Cabin blankie is finished, it's on DS' bed, I don't have to work on it any more, and life is good =D

I finished it in a marathon knitting session at 2 AM Christmas morning!!! Boy, was I glad to be done! It is pictured on his double bed, somewhat stretched out after he was holding it up by one end. It is huge, woolly, and warm; I hope he likes it :)

Now my guilt is assuaged (I'm guilty for starting a quilt for him when he was 5 years old. He is now 20, and the quilt was never finished, while his sister has had a finished hand-made quilt for 14 years.) But the surprise blankie I started for her this year is unfinished--it's just about as far along as his quilt! Heh. Now I can blog about it, b/c it is no longer a surprise:

"Flowers in the Grass."
Maybe it'll be done in time for next Christmas. (I can't believe I just said something about knitting for next Christmas, have I gone mad?!)

Here's Aim's list of things she is free to do now:
1. find additional yarn to finish the Aran Wrap Cardi
2. finish ballerina wrap cardi
3. find additional yarn to finish Summer Sampler Lace (or find a narrower edging to make what I already have work....)
4. make some mittens and hats (fair isle +/- cables of course!)
5. make DD's flowers in the grass blankie!
6. finish my Maui socks (I have 1-1/2 socks done)
7. reap the benefits of my Yarntini Sock Yarn of the Month club which starts in January. Can't wait!!!

I think that's plenty. I'd love to get working on my Hanne Falkenberg kit, too; I must sit down and really chart out the instructions so I can follow them.

Here is one of my ornaments, crocheted by me about 25 years ago :)Pattern from a Leisure Arts publication in the early 80s. Here are the other ornaments I made back then (oh, and I added a pic to the last post like I promised):

Do NOT laugh at the twisty candle....

Nor this tiny, furry wreath!

Happy Christmas, all!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Busy in the Kitchen

I have been. In spite of being overwhelmed by the things I need to do, I just got up early this AM, and took stock of my situation and I'm farther along than I thought! Panic was setting in, as I have to work today and a half-day Christmas Eve, I have no time, and I'm still not done with Moderne!!!! But I'm close!

All the gift items I was busy making in the kitchen are finished. I feel really good about that. This AM I made up lots of yummy cocoa mix for giving. And I feel good enough to take time to share my recipe with y'all:

Aim's Deluxe Hot Cocoa Mix
(makes about 7-1/2 cups mix)

2 cups nonfat dried milk
2 cups non-dairy creamer (flavored if desired)
2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
4 oz sweet chocolate bar, grated (I used Baker's)

Mix all well. To make, add 4-5 spoonsful to a mug of hot water.

What I love about this is all the possibilities...if you use powdered sugar instead of granulated, it's a lighter color mix. You can use flavored creamer, I suggest vanilla. Or, if you're fancy, you could use a flavored sugar that you made yourself (like vanilla bean sugar). You can add a dash of cinnamon to each mug for Mexican Hot Cocoa, or add 2-3 tablespoons cinnamon to the overall mix. You can stir it with a candycane, unless, like me, you like to add a shot of Peppermint Schnapps to your hot cocoa! Yeah, adult cocoa!

I read somewhere that you could add a packet of raspberry or cherry koolaid mix, to make black forest hot cocoa! Interesting, but I haven't tried it (might taste too much like cough syrup I'm afraid!)

Anyway, here's a photo (I'll post it later, I still have to reinstall my camera software >:)of my hot cocoa, two batches bottled up and ready for gift-giving. They just need labels and ribbons!

I also have packaged up several batches of Spice Granola, made from variations on this recipe. I LOVE this granola, and so does DH. (That says a lot, he's not a real granola fan.) I've made several different versions, each with a different dried fruit; one with minced figs, one with diced apricots, one with golden raisins. Next I'm gonna use chopped dates....

I bought fun jars from Ikea, washed them, and filled them with my gift recipes. Nice gift, when you can re-use the container!

And now, the wrapping fest begins. Aaaaaaah! I really need to get 2 more hours of sleep before work. Wrapping must wait until after 5 pm. Sigh.

Buenos noches, buen natale.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Clean Slate

I am so glad I've logged my surfing escapades here. I just lost everything that was on my computer. All the cool places I was gonna blog about next, as well as all my files, photos, pattern downloads, and weblinks (and my resume, among other things) are all gone. I spent all of Thursday night re-formatting my hard drive, and re-installing Windows, and keeping my fingers crossed that the hard drive was salvageable...luckily it seems okay now. But, oh! The things I lost.

A word of advice...if you've been thinking that you should back up your files onto disk lately, DO IT! Don't wait :(

The flip side of this trauma, is that I get to start the new year with a clean slate. I have my blog's links to keep me happy and busy for a long time. I stored 99% of my digital photos on Flickr (thank God the Maui pics are safe!) And, I have Ravelry and all you wonderful bloggers out there to keep me well-supplied with more inspiration!

Next, I must do some other slate-cleaning....b/c I'm inspired now, you see! It actually feels good to start anew.

One thing I'm sorry I lost is all my Paper Panache downloads. This is a paper-piecing website that hosts a new free quilting pattern every couple of months. The patterns I collected over the past year are lost. They are only available free for a short time. Sigh. Well, it's not like I'm doing much quilting or sewing anymore, so I can let it go...(I'm still reeling, can you tell?!)

But, I can still use the computer, and 2009 is rolling in! We have our health and prosperity intact, so there is a lot to be thankful for!!! I hope everyone out there has the same.

Have a lovely holiday season! (Hope you like the blog's new look!)


Sunday, December 14, 2008

To waste the day surfin'....

Here is some surfage from the net:

1. Look at the cute palm-tree granny square! I'm not a fan of knitting or crocheting a motif to SEW onto a background, but this might change my mind....just too tropical and cute.

2. I like the look of this cardi--and the pattern's free! I found out about it via RosaP's blog, which I love in it's own right for the photography and minimalist feel. You should check out her version of this sweater, very cute.

3.I like this blog, she has a lovely photography style and her french inspired style is lovely.

4. I like the look and the idea (and pretty sure I'd like the taste too) of Sur la Table's chocolate crock you heat up and dip your fondue dippers into. What a cute item! Found via the speckled egg blog....

5. My new favorite shop (also from the speckled egg blog). All things lovely and French inspired....Not too pricey, either!

6. Need a moss tablecloth?! Here's a lovely one, not expensive if you don't buy the largest size....;) And how about placing one of these on top of it: Found also at bell'occhio. what a cute woodland party you'd have with both those...!

7. Look at the fun cupcakes website! I love their Christmas tree cupcakes, how cute is that photo?!

8. Oh! Look at this cute towel bin! I love this shop, my new favorite shop! How great is all that lovely merchandise!?!

9. Did I mention I love woodland? I love acorns, oak leaves, pinecones, moss, mushrooms, birdies, faux bois, any camping or Smokey the Bear related, National Parks themed items, fish (kinda woodland, right?)...well, I think you get my drift. Look at this really cute scarf with a mountain ranger bear on it! I'd love a print of that illustration to frame....OH, they sell that too!

10. Speaking of woodland: look at this really cute charm necklace! A little cabin in the woods! Love it :)

11. Last but not least...the recipe for Girl Scout Cookies "Samoas", Oh, yeah, I want to make these!


Saturday, December 13, 2008


Yuck. Yucky yuck. DH and I drove around all day in cold damp sleet and ice and rain and snow. If it weren't for the holiday spirit and the goal-oriented stops we made, I would have been a grumpy, grouchy soul under the dull gray sky.

Now the rain/sleet is changing into big fluffy snowflakes. My dogs came in from outdoors looking like frosted cupcakes =D

And I sit here with a glass of Two-Buck Chuck Merlot, eating Almond Roca (did you know those go together?) enjoying a happy buzz. I love being indoors in the winter, being cozy and warm and with a full tummy, and having some free time.

Gift knitting drags along. Unfortunately one gift will not be even half done by Christmas. Oh, well. Best laid plans, and all that. But the Moderne Log Cabin blankie is in its final quarter. I'm gonna get that sucka done on time!

I am not nearly done shopping for gifts. I wish I had all the time in the world to make things for people. But I also love my job. There's just no easy way for me to adjust it seems. Sigh.

But, reminding myself what this season is about will keep the worries in their proper priority. We are healthy, and safe this holiday season. DD has not yet been deployed to the middle east. For this I am heartily thankful.

May your Christmas be very special, a time to be with family and forge the links of love. May the Light that is Jesus shine upon you, and bring you and yours peace.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Great inspiration!

Wow, look at this lace! It's a knitting daily video--have y'all seen this shawl pattern? It was recently published in Piecework magazine. I would love to knit a lily-of-the-valley shawl, either rectangular or triangular. I think it is the most lovely lace pattern I've ever seen! And, it reminds me of my Nana, who had a billion lilies of the valley growing in her side yard and let me transplant some to my new home. I miss you Nana....

I am going to try to wait until I finish summer sampler stole to knit this lovely piece of lacework. I also have my eye on the Forest Path stole, but I don't get Entrelac. Best do a scarf in plain stockinette entrelac before I attempt lace!

Other cool finds while surfing the last couple of days are:

1. Yarntini's Happy Hour Sock Club. I asked for this for Christmas, as I totally love her yarns. I can't think of a better surprise to await me this winter, than a package of yarntini yarn each month. So I quietly waited until signups began, and jumped in....because DH said he would buy me that for Christmas! =D Yay, something to look forward to for the next three dreary months!

2. Recycle your grocery bags into great gift wrap accessories!!! What a cool way to use up that annoying plastic from the grocery store. We usually end up putting it in the recycle bin, but I love the way this looks as a pom pom!

3. Cranberry body scrub...hummm, I have lots of little jars I could put to good use. Maybe I'll try this!

4. Hexagon crochet grannies tutorial here. What a beauty that blanket would be....

5. Have you ever heard of a tantrum-throwing shrimp?! This is very interesting, with cool pics!

6. For seamstresses, these free croquis from Threads magazine can help you sketch your designs over an actual body shape. I used some similar things in my fashion design classes.

7. These are cool for gifts(don't look family)

8. I love this: Crechemania, just joined so I can participate in this papercutting activity! I so love Nativity scenes...I think collecting paper ones is a lot more space-saving!!! What a cool site, make sure your volume is turned on too!

Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

I can't help myself....

Really. When I see stuff like this, I have to laugh. Found on Etsy yesterday, here are some great vintage styles:

You've gotta love the 70's. Mm,hm. I just think granny shorts over-alls with tights is the best outfit EVAH!

Could I wear that to work?

And here's a "vintage" sewing pattern from the 70s:

Wait. This is an apron?! What is it really? Chaps. Ha ha haaaaaaaaa! Chaps with lace. AND, removable potholders. Hoo hoo hee hee heeeee!
I NEED this pattern!

Or how about this cool hippy cape? It could be yours for $30:

Someone put an awful lot of effort into looking like a psychedelic musketeer....I almost want one. (P.S. It has a zipper!)

Here's one, from inside a knitting magazine from the forties or fifties:

This one creeps me out. Sorry. I'm just a heterosexual.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

White Christmas!

It's snowing outside, while I sit here in my jammies, on the computer. I had a whole list of things to do today, including getting my oil changed, and a Christmas party to go to, but somehow the idea of staying in when it's snowing over-rode all my good intentions. Imagine that :)

DH and I decorated our tree this morning. That was really fun, pulling out homemade ornaments from our kids, and ourselves. Our first Christmas together, we made ornaments, including woodburned ornaments, painted ornaments, sewn and knitted ornaments and crocheted ones. I'll have to photodocument those soon :) The knitted ones are from a Leisure Arts Leaflet that is long lost. But the memory of knitting those when we lived in a mobile home in California our first year of marriage--well that really makes me smile. That was the year I learned how to knit! Hard to believe I've been doing it for 26 years! (I also remember being in the Air Force at that time, and crocheting on my lace during down-time on-duty, heh!)

Ah, reminiscing about a loved one who gave you a particular ornament, or trying to figure out which of our kids made which dough ornament was a great way to spend Saturday morning. I plan on continuing the Christmas spirit with some baking and some knitting progress on Moderne.

Good thing I went to knit night yesterday! I had to force myself to go; I knew if I went home from work, I'd be in bed by 6:30 like I had all week (from a draggy cold I caught.) At least I went there and got 4 hours of solid knitting done! And, it was Main Street's Christmas Celebration yesterday, so we had lots of foot traffic, and two groups of carollers! That was really fun. A lot of people popped in to see what we were about, and I even had some teen carollers ask about Meinstein Coat (I was wearing it while I knit--it was cold with all that door-opening!) Molly had a special store window display: kids knitting in the window! It was a fun night :)

I spent this AM doing some cybershopping. I refuse to go into the crowds at this time of year. Yuck. Some of my shopping is done, but I'm starting to run out of time for the mail-order stuff. ~panic is pending~

I will try to post some pics soon. I'm overwhelmed with time management lately! Computer trojans with adware and keyloggers are sucking away all my time (trying to get rid of them so I can on-line shop safely.) Sigh. It's always something.

Have a happy week everyone! Knit onward!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Say Thanks to the Troops

Send a postcard to the troops! These designs are awesome, done by schoolkids. What a great program Xerox is running, to do this for our military!

This is cool--check out all the great designs the kids have made! Imagine if you were a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan and recieved one of these cute cards!!! I want to send one a day :)


Saturday, November 29, 2008

weekend thoughts

I just saw this for the first time: Matt dancing. Have you seen it? Guaranteed to make you smile, I promise.

I am not sure what happened to the time! I have not done much but lollygag at the computer today. Guess I needed that.

Time to walk the doggy and settle down for a warm night's knitting in front of the tube :) Maybe some laundry too, so I don't have to worry about it tomorrow.

I am seeing and bookmarking all kinds of fun things to make, and etsy yarn shops to visit after the holidays....I'd love that, deep in january's cold. Soon, soon.

I just had a long discussion with my brother on the Atlantic coast, regarding the tightening of the belts we've both done in the past couple of months. It is good to talk with people about this, it kind-of props you up to continue your efforts. There are so many reasons to be mindful of our spending habits.

On that note, thought I'd share something cool that happened. We got a fake tree gratis from someone at my DH's workplace. It was a pre-wired, lighted fake tree that no longer lit up in one section. DH brought it home and removed the lights, but left the central extension cord and now we don't have to buy a real tree again. We are going to find some pine-scented candles to put out, though, cuz we'll miss the scent of a real tree. I feel very happy about this; for years I have wanted to get a fake tree we can just store, but it has never happened (usually they are too pricey before the season, and afterwards I don't want anything to do with buying more Christmas stuff!!!)

Isn't that just peachy?! I'm so excited about our free tree :D It's nice looking--I'll post pics when I get it together. I really don't have it together right now!

Wanted to point out the beautiful Christmas tree that Raining Sheep has posted. That is probably the most stunning tree I've ever seen! Now I wish my free tree was white! (Nah.)

Look at these beautiful mitten patterns! So great, I love them. Can't wait til my knitting time is my own again, I <3 these mittens. happy knitting.


Friday, November 28, 2008


The HOLIDAY SEASON is in full force, and I am so happy to be "in" for the weekend. I'm done running around; we had our little trip for Thanksgiving to Grampa's, and drove home the same day, then I had to work 2 hours this morning (not bad, I know) and do some errands. One and one-half hours after entering the grocery store I came out with a huge cartload of goodies, and now we have a pumpkin pie and a cherry pie in the oven! Yay.

Because we ate out, (actually out of state), there is no such thing as leftovers, nor next-day turkey sandwiches here. And we couldn't stand the idea of no pies....

I hope those of you who go to the crazy shopping malls this weekend are safe. Did you hear about the Walmart employee who was trampled to death when the store opened? That is just crazy, what an awful thing. You will never catch me fighting with the crowds for the sales. That is not something I have ever done! Uh, uh. This one's holiday shopping is going to be accomplished on-line this year. Yeah!

Remember back a couple of months when I panicked and said I thought I didn't have enough yarn to finish the Summer Sampler Lace project? Well, I was right. I just ran out completely while knitting on it during our 4-hour drive, and I still have half the edging to go. Sigh. This will be put aside until after the holidays, when I can go about ordering yarn to (hopefully) match.

Other knitting from the bottom of the bag was then pulled out, the Jaywalkers sock I started in Maui in June. Half the stitches were off the needles, and since it had been about 7 months since I put them down, I had to concentrate to figure out where I was (it was just after the heelflap). By the time I got done fixing and studying it,and was able to knit one round, we had just gotten off the main road and started to drive the country lanes and I got really car-sick from looking down. I had to open the window and look forward till we arrived, and it was a while before I felt right again. Sheesh!

I am going to crank on gifts this weekend. I am knitting and crocheting furiously on two gifts (that are currently too large to take in the car). That is all the gift-knitting I planned on this year. But I am also planning a great load of other home-made stuff for gifting. And that's all I should say for now!

Hope everyone's knitting is moving right along. And I hope all your holiday plans are filled with special times and lots of family. Now, to go tackle that pumpkin pie....


Friday, November 21, 2008

Turkey Day Approacheth....

Preparations for Thanksgiving Day are being made. Shopping. Cleaning. Looking forward to family getting together and a day of rest. I love the anticipation of this time of year! We also have 2 birthdays in our family this week, one bro and one DD. And then the whole Christmas time holiday preparations thing starts, too. People at my work are talking about who is decorating already for Christmas. Radio stations are playing the Christmas-only playlist. And sometimes there's snow! Football games are being played in earnest....

That's my list of things I love about November. I hate having to work the day after Thanksgiving, but I guess it could be worse--I could be required to work the actual holidays themselves. But that is not the case, so I am thankful for that.

Busy, busy. That is my mantra lately. Though you have not heard from me, I have been busily knitting away. Mostly on Christmas gifts. Moderne is about 45% done, and I haven't touched the other gift yet. Yikes. And today, I had to be at a CME conference all day, so I worked on my Summer Sampler Lace project all day under the table. Of course, I sat in the front row (cuz I got there late), so I know all the speakers saw me knitting, but I also took notes, and turned the pages of the handouts in keeping with the pace of the slideshow. I hope no one was offended!

Summer Sampler is the only project in the works currently that is so portable. Moderne feels like a behemoth to lug around, and the other is grannie squares essentially, so I'd have to bring a whole bunch of yarn, and scissors, etc. Not so portable. I am not spending any time on Ravelry either--just too much to do. On Saturday nights you can find me watching the week's worth of Young & the Restless soap opera (yes, 5 hours of concentrated TV knitting), and on Sundays, I try to knit during at least one football game! I have begun to bring some knitting to work for lunch hour too, as it is intermittently too crappy outside to come home for lunch now. Another way to squeeze in more knitting time.

(Tooting my own horn: today at the conference I was wearing the Meinstein Coat and got a nice couple of comments from total strangers! That was fun.) And, go figure, there was a really nice knitter sitting next to me who asked about my lace knitting! You meet knitters everywhere! I bet she was wishing she had brought her knitting too. I gave her the link to the Summer Sampler Lace instructions--thanks Black Cat Knits!

So, here's to an increase in holiday knitting time! Woo hoooooo! And cranking out the wooly, cashmere-y goodness in bulk :D

If'n I don't post again before the big Turkey Day, Happy Thanksgiving to all you Americans out there!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Great finds....

Look how cute this sweater is....

but, I don't know, I think I'd look like a circus clown in that. I like the style of it, the lace adds a great flare. Just maybe without the stripes, or maybe if they were more subtle like a tone-on-tone. Wouldn't that be nice in taupe + tan?

Look at these--the cutest knit animal toys I've ever seen! What a great collection of patterns she has going!!!!! I could make one for the new nephew. She also has some free patterns here. My fav is the love-bug!

This is the screwiest thing I've ever seen--a sampler of stitches used in medicine! What a crack-up, in a fascinating kind of way!

My cheese soup was a total flop yesterday, I was winging it with velveeta and beer, onions, potatoes and roasted garlic, but then at the last minute I added in some "beef base" to give it more flavor; it's sort of like bouillion but in a paste form. I forgot how little I was supposed to use and I ruined the soup. It was so salty it was caustic, even after I diluted it 100%. Sigh. I hate cooking mistakes! Luckily they only happen rarely anymore....I might try again today, only I think I lost my taste for cheese soup for a while, bleh >:'p

I think I might try making ricotta gnocchi today. The only gnocchi I've made before were potato. I think ricotta would be wonderful and I have some homemade sauce in the freezer to serve it with....Also my no knead bread mentioned yesterday is ready to bake today--that would all go well together. Must add a salad in there, too.

I found some great free online recipe cards and shopping lists you can print out. Very cute, and would be fun to give with a homemade mix as a holiday gift.

This could be dangerous: Fabric.com. I could see getting into trouble surfing there--it's not like I even sew much anymore. I have an outsized stash of fabrics from when I WAS quilting--can't be adding to that. But just in case any of you crafty peeps out there want a good fabric source. Ya know. That's why I mention it ;)

I like this blog not quite vintage--nice crafty, make-do suggestions. I really love this bag she created....makes me want an embroidery machine, Lord help me.

And a link to browse Simplicity patterns from your home!!! I love the internet! I never tried that before. I especially love the jacket in pattern 2938 (scroll down)that she posts about--look at the cool sleeve vents! Love that detail.

I recently saw CookieA's free pattern BFF socks knit up in a solid yarn--very lovely cable-y pattern. I really want to get back to knitting socks, but I have blanket mania going on right now.....

Look at the cute origami pouch you can make to use for wrapping small gifts! It's a nice tut....

I miss the simplicity of a non-rushed life. Carina's Crafblog entry about drawing and sketching reminded me of how much I like to do that. Keep in mind, y'all, that I am not an artist. Drawing is just fun and elemental, like breathing and eating. It MAKES you slow down. I haven't done it purposely for quite a while. I doodle all the time, but that doesn't really count!

Look at the lovely website Dreamfollow. Her handpainted items and embroideries are really cute.

And finally, a really funny idea. This is a non-crafty, send-a-message kind of project. I think it's hilarious. Just my cup of sarcasm....

Happy Surfing :)


Saturday, November 8, 2008


I LOVE FOOD! I love to prepare different things varying with the seasons...I made those spring rolls I mentioned a couple months ago. Did you know how easy it is to make spring rolls?! What a great hot-weather munch!!!

This morning I made the "Homemade Kitkat Bars" from Paula Deen's Christmas magazine...so easy to make. And they smell delicious. Haven't tried one yet....

I made AfricanKelli's version of granola I mentioned in a previous post. It has peanut butter in it, but I used a jar of cashew butter that no one would eat (go figure, they all LOVE cashews!) That recipe makes a huge batch, and though it is not as sweet as my other fav granola recipe, but tastes great with milk. Mmmm mmm. I have large Tupperware containers where we always keep our breakfast cereal, and I filled one to the brim with that yummy concoction! Next version will use almond butter!

Today, I'm trying no-knead bread from a recipe here. Nice cold day for bread baking, with snow flurries outside and gray skies.

Maybe some crockpot cheese soup, too. Yes, I think I will ;')

On knitting, I finally made it back to Friday night knitting group after about 7 weeks away. I missed it a lot. It was so much fun to see everyone's projects. I was inspired to buy a pair of these--my friend bought the size 50s and has made 3-4 scarves for gifts in about 2 hours each!!! That's a fun way to use up the wacky hobby yarns that are so cheap out there, and get a really pretty scarf or rug out of it! So I caved...can't wait til they arrive!

Also I met an old friend there, it was her first visit to the knitter's group! So cool to see her again, we used to work together at a govt clinic, and used to talk about all things crafty. I remember once I even brought in some of my quilts to show her ...She is very talented, makes bobbin lace, and was just learning to knit last night! Another convert :D

Slogging through Moderne. It seems like very slow work, but I'm liking the wool sitting on my lap in these cold days! Wool sure makes winter much more enjoyable, in my mind!!! And now, to bake, knit and be generally cozy and warm.

May your weekend be the same!


Friday, November 7, 2008

Learning to Love Asymmetry

I voted for the turkey...

I have always loved symmetric design. In clothing, furniture arrangements, floral arrangements or hand made items. Symmetry gives items a sense of full-circle completeness. There is something so pleasing about exactly matching something from one side to the other....And I could never understand the draw of asymmetry. Even through my fashion design classes, I didn't get it. Then, 20+ years later, I started seeing patterns like Eastlake:

where asymmetry is the showcase for a fantastic motif.

Now I love asymmetry also, thanks to Norah Gaughan! Norah's designs definitely have it going on, often deriving their impact from the beauty of asymmetry! Norah has done it again!

I'm gonna go now and flip through my copy of Knitting Nature....Happy Friday Night/Saturday morning :D

Sunday, November 2, 2008

No More Weekend Warrior ....

Uh uh. I learned my lesson. Still having back issues, go figure. DH took care of the remainder of the cut down tree yesterday--it took him hours and hours to deal with the branches and brush. Whew, at least it's done. But now HIS back is hurting!

Getting old sucks ;-|

I worked on the Moderne Log Cabin blankie for 5 hours last night, while I watched the week's worth of The Young & The Restless on Soapnet. What a way to spend an evening! I laugh at that show--everytime I've had enough and don't watch for weeks or even months, if I do come back to it, everything has been interchanged, each character now has a new sexual partner or an evil twin, or someone has died, or someone has come back from the dead, or some other nonsense. What a hoot!

I know I'm slammed/busy when I haven't even been on Ravelry but twice in the past month! Wow.

I indulged in the new Mason Dixon knitting book this weekend. That is going to be a lot of fun to delve into. I leafed through that one and the new Nicky Epstein book 'Knitting On Top of the World', and decided the Mason-Dixon book was the one for me. Nicky's book looks like a good read though, with lots of info regarding the history of knitting in different cultures. Maybe I'll get it from the library soon!

I have been surfing in the wee hours again when I can't sleep. There are so many new recipes I'd love to try: Butternut Squash Spring Rolls, Easy Pumpkin Brownies, Pumpkin Polenta Cake, Chocolate Fudge Cherry Cake (what's with all the cakes? I'm not usually a cake person--must be that nesting/cozy time of year thing....), Simple Sorbet, Halloween-Candy Bundt Cake, Empanadas (one blogger used this empanada dough and spooned pumpkin puree into it with a slab of butter and pumpkin pie spices, then served them for dessert~! clever), AfricanKelli's Bean Dip, and her version of Granola (made with peanut butter!).

That was wierd. It just rained for all of 15 seconds. Hard. Now it's quiet again--very strange.

Anyway, at least my train of thought (regarding non-stop munching) has been broken! Onward and upwards!! Keep Calm and Carry On. And all that.

I saw a really simple and cute shrug pattern here. Looks like a winner, just the sort of thing I'd like to wear. Must. Make. One.

Gaaaaaah! did I mention how sick I am at blanket-projects dragginess?!!! I wanna move on already ;0)

Time to go back to bed. See y'all later.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

These are a few of my favorite links....

Look at the cute pics and post about fortune cookies and Chinese New Year (I know, I'm late) I found on one of my new fav blogs called PlumPudding I really want to try that recipe for fortune cookies.

I love the idea ofcheap makeup. Let me know if it is any good...I think I got this link from MeggieCat's blog, but I'm not sure.

Love all the fun stuff I find online. so great to "virtually shop"!!!

I spent part of the morning today making Easy Cinnamon Bun Bread. Yum, even without the powdered sugar icing. Somehow making a coffee cake with yeast dough makes it that much better~! And so far the rest of the day has been spent reading a book, napping, and researching how to preserve my crop of rose hips. I have some of the most extraordinary rose hips in the garden, that in years past I have not harvested. Now, knowing that the vitamin C content is so much higher than citrus fruit, I'd like to do something with them. Here are the results of my search so far:
  1. Saveur rose-hip tea

  2. U of Vermont Extension on Rose Hips preparation

  3. Rose hips marmalade and prep instructions

  4. more prep tips for rose hips

  5. recipes from Colorado for rose hips

  6. lots of uses for rose hips

  7. rose hip syrup

  8. more recipes, interesting....

  9. and my favorite: rose hip schnapps !!!

Just so every one remembers; inside of rose hips there are little barbed hairs that can cause lots of problems if eaten, so if you dry them and use them whole, you must strain through cheesecloth any possible seeds or hairs. I have not personally tried any of the above recipes yet--please let me know if YOU do!!

I'm excited b/c yesterday I went to the library and checked out a whole bunch books on knitting. One thing I have to say about my local library, they sure are stocked up on knitting books, new and old. I even found the out-of-print susanna lewis lace knitting book that is selling on Ebay for >$200!!!!! So I will be making some photocopies from that this weekend. And, that means I now have access to the Forest Path Stole pattern that I have been lusting after; that is the only pattern I would likely knit in the "Best of IK" book, so I have purposely not bought it. I love the library!

I just discovered the Knot Another Hat blog...a blog of a yarn store owner. Looks like a fun read, and inspiring with the knits!

We officially have grass! Yay, I was starting to wonder if it was too late in the season for the grass seed to sprout. Only problem is that the birdies were way too hungry and by the time it sprouted they had eaten big empty patches, especially in the back patch behind the patio. So I will be waiting until today's 50 mph winds blow past before I reseed some of the bald spots. I do not want those herbs and crap to grow again. After the seed comes in good, I will spread weed n feed to help it set up for the winter....

I raked leaves yesterday. Mild back issues when finished, so I will do no more yard work this weekend. I really need to attend to the downed tree limbs of 2 weeks ago, but that will have to wait. I can't afford to be off work again b/c of weekend warrior syndrome!

I made some crockpot chili yesterday. DH and I played scrabble Friday night and he beat the socks off me. DD had a black belt tip test Saturday; she has her 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and works as an instructor there part time. (She is also a Marine Corps Reservist, remember. One tough cookie!) I'm so proud of her. And DS is looking into a computers education. All's right with the world.

I feel so blessed to have a wonderful family and house, puppies and food, warm clothes and a job. Thank you God for such blessings. My heart and prayers go out to all who are losing their employment and looking at very tough financial times. Soon this election will be out of the way, and things can hopefully return to "normal." I'll say a prayer that it is so.

God bless you all this lovely Sunday. I'm off to pick rose hips while the garlic is roasting....then, to make grilled flatbread on the stovetop to spread the garlic over. mmmmmm Bye now.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Aaaaah, sweet weekend...

So. Looking. Forward. To. The. Weekend.

It has been another intense week at work. I think it must be a full moon ALL STINKING MONTH! Lots of crazies and wierdness going on. Our practice has never been busier. Two wakes to go to this week. Not a big fan of the adult "past-time" of going to wakes and funerals (I'd rather stay a 46 year old child and play all day), so this was a stretch for me. One wake I went to I did not know the deceased, but made an appearance to support the family member who we work with. The other was a dearly loved patient whose sudden demise left us all stunned. And what a beautiful family she has left behind....

Hardly any knitting got done this week: I knit on Moderne for 1-1/2 hours while watching Dog the Bounty Hunter on Wednesday night. That's it. So this weekend calls for some serious knit-time. I also feel that my back is healed enough for me to work on the remainder of the tree I cut down. Just, ya know, cutting and bundling the brush for removal. I will probably just do a small amount, so I don't start a bad chain of events again with my back!

My poor puppy has not had a walk in 3-4 days, and before that it had been 10 days. It's hard to walk a 75 lb dog that wants to pull you when your back is strained. So he has had to be content with running around in the back yard--luckily we have a large fenced-in yard. Another thing to do this weekend: walk the dog!

I did some web-surfing this week and have some fun links to show ya. I'll get on that soon. I still have to upload my pics from last weekend. Went to see my grampa in the hospital, and while there I took some cool photos. Also, because my back was still hurting from the weekend before, I made my bro drive home (4 hours) so I was reclining and taking photos of the amazing cloud formations as we came around the base of Lake Michigan. Love the sun-dogs. Love the scents of Michigan in the autumn. Love the crunchy hickory nuts underfoot. Aaaah.

Happy weekend y'all.